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malkin

Reading Old Books and Other Extreme Sports

I read lots

Currently reading

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Lionel Shriver
Everything Is Illuminated
Jonathan Safran Foer
The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Robin Buss
Progress: 75 %

The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith “How easy it was to capitalize on a person’s own bent for self-destruction; how simple to nudge them into non-being, then to stand back and shrug and agree that it had been the inevitable result of a chaotic, catastrophic life.” Social commentary, slow dark humour, and perfect, expansive characterisation. Didn't give this book my full attention because I stopped reading halfway through to go travelling - kind of wish I'd saved it now. Nevertheless, will eagerly watch for sequels!

Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin - Scott Heim Cinematic writing, great characterisation, quietly horrifying and viscerally uncomfortable. Reading this felt like tasting blood.

It's Kind of a Funny Story

It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini Yeoooowch. Pretty painful to read. Most accurate description of depression. Ever. Tentacles and anchors. Cycling and shifting. Accurate accurate accurate. The only time I didn't absolutely identify with the mc was when he was rejoicing over getting to feel up girls, and considering I'm not a sixteen year old boy, that's quite a literary achievement. I particularly loved that his bp was always 120/80 - and what that says about "perfection".

Lenz

Lenz - Georg Büchner, Richard Sieburth I wrote a whole essay about how Georg Buchner predicted Nietzsche's famous "look into the abyss" quote, the entire stream-of-conscious-thought modern lit movement, Inception's "how do I know if I'm awake or asleep" and modern medicine's rhetoric on schizophrenia. It's actually a bit unsettling but the short story makes up for it by being almost completely incoherent.

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian - Eoin Colfer RIGHT IN THE CHILDHOOD.

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde Laugh out loud funny, typically razor sharp satire. As always, I adore Oscar Wilde in all his snarky glory.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green His best book by far. Captures death and grief with more clarity than any other book I've ever read. Not very subtle - metaphors that Must Not Be Ignored and unrealistic dialogue for the sake of existentialism. Deliberately very quotable in a way that sacrifices narrative.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride - William Goldman Adored some parts, but not enough to compensate the bizarre author's notes, the icky sexism, and the "William Goldman" voice that I found, honestly, repugnant.

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling Most visceral characters I've ever read in fiction. Infinitely better than Harry Potter. Someone's editors have been holding her back...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky Catcher in the Rye with feminism and gay rights. Substitute completely-intolerable white male protagonist for mildly-tolerable white male protagonist. Multiply by The Smiths and Class A drugs.

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita - Diana Burgin, Katherine Tiernan O'Connor, Mikhail Bulgakov The Devil comes to Russia. Things get fucked up. Main characters were barely human so characterisation was a moot point. Cool concept though.

Atonement

Atonement - Ian McEwan Pretty pretty writing. Man knows how to metaphor. Ending seemed a bit cheap though.

American Psycho

American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis Startlingly effective in one capacity only. Not particularly subtle. A nuclear bomb in literature. Occasionally hypnotising writing.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson Glacially slow with complete lack of purpose or drive. Occasional sharp edged characters. Worse than the first one.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson Glacially slow. Occasional sharp edged characters. A surprising lack of Ah Hah! Moments for a thriller/crime novel.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Pretty fantastic book for YA readers. Reaping scene is amazingly visceral - hit the big sister in me with a mallet. Not the best writing.